Diaries of a Madman

When Discord breaks free of his stone prison, he proves to be much older and wiser than he was on the show. A being of ancient and unimaginable power, he forces Celestia to make a deal to save her little ponies. What she doesn't realize is that one of the terms of the deal is that she forgets ever making it. Enter Navarone, a poor human just trying to get by—or at least, to the ponies that's what he looks like. Pulled from his home by an accidental summoning from one Twilight Sparkle, Navarone is thrust into a world of ponies and more violence than he expected from such a peaceful seeming world. These are his adventures—with a few asides from everybody's favorite Lord of Chaos, of course.

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69. Chapter Fifty-Five—One of these days, these mares are going to kill me.

We left early the next morning. While we were on the train, a message for me came in on Spike. It had a train pass from Celestia to get me free rides anywhere forever and an order to continue riding the train until I got to Canterlot. She needed to talk to me in person. She didn’t say why she didn’t teleport me. I just shrugged and sat back, continuing the ride in silence.

When I finally got to Canterlot, I flew straight to the palace. The guards let me in with no problem, directing me to the sitting room. Right then and there, I formed a plan for what to do with the furniture in that place. It was an evil plan that made me smile.

When Celestia finally came in, she caught me testing the weight of some of the furniture. “What are you doing, Nav?” she asked as the door slid shut.

“Oh, you know.” I let the table drop down the floor. “What did you need?”

“A few things. First, this came for you.” She passed me an envelope. I slid it into a pocket. “Open it and read it now.” I shrugged and did so.

“An invite to the… Fabulous Flankfurt Festival. For me and a date.” I looked up. “Where the fuck do they come up with these shitty names?” Apparently Flankfurt is in the region of Germaneigh. I shit you not.

She ignored the question. “The fact that you have an invite is less important than who it came from. Read that part.” I looked down at that part.

“Clutch leader Pyrite, head of the dragon horde.” I looked up. “I’m fucked, aren’t I?”

“That is one way to put it, yes. It is possible he didn’t hear about what you did with Kumani, yes, but if you got that invitation from him, there is a good probability that he did.” She paused to let that sink in. “Of course…” She floated me several other envelopes. “It wasn’t just him that sent you one. So you’re probably okay.”

“Oh you bitch! You did that on purpose!” I snatched them out of the air and began opening them. An invite from the griffins, the dogs, the naga, and one from Celestia herself. “So does this mean I can bring five dates?”

“No. You may bring one. I will be attending this year and I will have my own guards, so you are free to enjoy the party as you would. Do you plan to attend?”

“I do. And I don’t suppose you’d be interested in revoking the ban on me participating in the tournament?”

“I will consider it. The environment this year is one well suited to your… traits.”

“Are you being racist again?” She smirked. “It’s because I’m a monkey, isn’t it?” That smirk turned into a smile. “I bet it’s a fucking jungle.” She giggled. “I’d love that. Are the changelings going to be there?”

The smile on her face dropped. “There will be a changeling delegation. Chrysalis will not be there. Navarone, I know you like the changelings, but keep your interactions with them to a minimum while at the party. The dogs are furious that the changelings even get a delegation, after what happened with the Diamond Dog miners. I do not need them to find out that you were involved. And on that note, I need to look into your memories again, to learn the truth of what Twilight did while she was in the hive.”

I sighed. “Feel free.” Flo, protect yourself if you must.

Celestia bent her head down and lightly touched my forehead with her horn. It lit up and she began poring through my mind. It took a lot longer than I was expecting. When she pulled away, she looked a bit disturbed. “Navarone, you are way too close to Chrysalis.”

“Well, she’s a good friend. And she probably has my children.”

“I did research. Those aren’t your children. She’s fertile, but she can’t have children with things outside of her species. She lied to you, Nav.” Or you’re lying to me. “Do not trust her, and never enter any of her hives alone. Do not even be around her alone. I understand that you like her, but at the same time you of all pon—people know what she’s capable of and how evil she truly is.” So who is telling the truth and who is lying? I wouldn’t hold it past Celestia to lie to me about that, if she thought it would keep me under control.

“I trust her precisely because I know how evil she is. But very well, Celestia. I prefer you anyway. Squishy is preferable to crunchy any day.” She rolled her eyes.

“There is then the issue of your enchanted sword. Twilight already sent me a preliminary report. I see that you have it with you.” I managed to secure it in my pack. I got a few odd looks with a blade sticking out of it, but I didn’t give any fucks. “May I examine it?”

“Do you really need to ask? I mean, what would you do if I told you no?”

“It’s a nicety, Nav. It pays to pretend to be polite.” While we had that little back and forth, I was pulling the sword out. I held it up for her.

“Interesting…” She held it up with her magic. It began to glow a pale blue. The runes carved into it glowed brighter than the rest. After a few minutes of studying it, she passed it back to me. “I can think of no better agent to safeguard this than you, Nav. Before you leave, go to the smith. He can make you a sheath. And he can repair your axe, since it looks like it has seen better days.”

I set the sword down and said, “Twilight mentioned a Spear of Destiny. How did it get that name?”

“I do not know. It was referred to that way once and the name seemed to stick. It’s not a common topic. The spear is in a museum here in Canterlot. They may know more about it.”

“The reason I ask is because there were legends about a Spear of Destiny in my world. The history is… unimportant,” and fucked up, “but there was nothing ever proven, I don’t suppose. It would have gone missing in Italy or Israel, likely.”

She shrugged. “Coincidence. It isn’t the first.”

“No, but they are starting to add up and are beginning to get eerie.”

“You’re just getting paranoid, or perhaps you are homesick. You notice little things and connect them to parallels back on your world in an effort to continue adjusting.”

Sounds like bullshit to me. “Whatever. You need anything else?”

“Three more points. First, shortly after the Flankfurt party, I will need your assistance in a matter. You will not like what you have to do.”

“Do I like any of what I have to do for you?”

“You seemed to enjoy assisting me around this time last year. Speaking of which… If you’re interested, I can do that again.” She might have seen the blood draining from my face. She giggled and said, “I didn’t think so. I didn’t think you would be interested in ever trying that again. Another thing: In a few months, there will be a large scale training exercise for the guards. It will be between Luna’s night guards and my day guards. Each side may field a total of five knights. Since Luna only has one, I will only field one. You are going to assist the night guards. Her guard captain is in charge, of course, but you will have some freedom to do as you please. I would not be surprised if you were given a small group to order about.”

“So what, it’ll be some war games or something? How will it work?”

“The two sides will make camp and mount patrols and the like to try to learn the other team’s weakness. Raids and clashes between patrols will be expected. All weapons will be blunted with magic and no pony will be killed. When one side runs out of troops or surrenders, the games are over.”

“So it’s like two actual enemy camps. Awesome, I can do that. Historically, who tends to win?”

“I do. Luna’s side has won plenty of times, but the clear majority of victories are mine. Since she got back, she has not won a single game.”

“Why wasn’t I told last year?”

“You were busy in the Everfree Forest. Now, the last issue: Luna’s dreams. I spoke with my servants after you sent that note. They all report dreaming about you. Sexually dreaming about you. Both the males and the females.” I face palmed. “I know this has to be incredibly embarrassing and unsettling. I discussed the matter with Luna. She misses you, yes, but it wasn’t something she did on purpose. She told me that she was going to do her best to set the dream machine on a setting that avoided dreams of you. She also used the announcement feature to apologize in the dreams of all the ponies.”

“There’s no way to make them forget? Or to disguise me from them in the future? Celestia, it’s a fucking terrifying thought! Ponies across the world dreamed about fucking me! I’ll be getting blushes and dirty looks until all the ponies that experienced it die!”

“I know, Nav. I wish there was more I could do, but aside from turning you into a pony to disguise you, there is nothing. I’m sorry, but it’s just something you’ll have to live with. I imagine most ponies will be hesitant to mention it or bring it up anyway; many are too mature.”

Maybe that was why all the ponies at Appaloosa hated me. Or at least, another reason for it. I also got a lot of looks on the way here. “The adults are, yes. Taya had those dreams, Celestia. I’m sure other children did as well. You just know they’re going to ask their parents. And then I’m going to be made out to be the bad guy because of it. And this might even give an entire generation of ponies a crush on me. The shitty life I have here could be ruined over this.”

“I know! There is nothing I can do, Nav. I know you don’t like it, I know what the consequences are, and I know that it’s bad! But unless you feel like going to Luna’s room right now and rutting her like a whore, there is nothing either of us can do about it. I’m sorry, but it’s just something you’re going to have to deal with.”

I knew there was nothing she could do, but I was still pissed about it. I just sighed, leaned over, and rubbed at my temples.

She continued, “Now, I know I have no right to ask this of you, but is it possible for you to abstain from sex? If she looks in on you and sees it… Well, that’s probably what caused this.” Oh, now I was really pissed.

“Or the two of you could fucking butt out of my life! Why do neither of you trust me? I know you’re constantly watching every little move I make. Have to make sure your tame killer doesn’t go off the deep end and start hurting any of your precious ponies, don’t you? I’m getting tired of it, Celestia! I am what I am because you made me this way. If you didn’t want a killer on a leash, you shoulda thought about that before you sent me to Egypt. If you know fucking anything about me by now, it’s that I don’t betray my friends. But you… you don’t seem very friendly to me right now, Celestia. You and your sister both are starting to look more and more like you need a dagger in the back. Either fucking trust me to live my life without constantly being watched and judged, or end it here and now.” I pulled a dagger out and put it against my chest. “Just push it on in. I might even thank you for ending this hell you put me in.”

She looked terrified and ashamed. Her horn lit up and the dagger ripped itself away from me. “We don’t watch you to judge you! We watch you because we can’t live our lives! We have to live through proxies, through others. We have no privacy, no free time, no chance at love… We just want to live a normal life, Nav. And you’re the closest thing to that we have. We watch you to watch what it would be like if either of us could retire. You get the protection of the two most powerful entities on the planet because of it. Do you truly not see that as a fair exchange?”

“No! Look where it fucking got me! Broadcast into the dreams of ponies everywhere as nothing more than a sex object. And if you were truly protecting me, why did you not save me from Twilight’s poison? Why did you not save me from Taya’s oven? Why did you not save me from Kat? You watch what you want and disregard the rest. You’ve never once protected me, Celestia. Luna has, a single time. And she was angry about having to do it. You’re just digging for excuses to spy on me and your ponies. If I was anything approaching normal, I might buy your excuse about watching as a proxy for living. But you and I both know that I don’t have a normal life, Celestia. You don’t watch me to pretend to live and saying otherwise is bullshit.”

“My sister and I are considerably less normal than you, no matter how tortured you think you are. Yes, you’ve had a hard time of things. Yes, most of it was my fault. But don’t you ever think we haven’t been through and done worse. Ever since Luna and I became the heads of state, we have been through more trouble than you could possibly imagine. Discord, crazy unicorns, redefining the entire essence of magic, the dragon wars, the griffin wars, the civil wars, the dog attacks, the entire Nightmare Moon incident and all of its fallback, and then editing and hiding history to make sure none of the ponies ever know that the world of peace I’ve built was built on the bodies of untold numbers. When we took the throne, the entire world was at war. Entire nations were starving. No pony trusted anypony else. And look at the world today, Navarone. That did not happen overnight. Over six. Thousand. Years. And this is after the entire alicorn nation was wiped off the face of the planet, leaving just me, my sister, and the perverted changelings. So forgive me for thinking you can handle some little things yourself and that I don’t need to save you out whenever you hit a hiccup.”

I was so tempted to sock her in the fucking jaw. I knew she was right but at the same time I knew what I was saying was true. I was tired of being watched, especially if shit like this was going to come of it. I was also tired of being used. I crossed my arms, knowing I had an underhanded trump. “Then when was the last time you got raped, Celestia?” She jerked back. “When was the last time your best friends took advantage of a weakness to make you a sex-crazed animal? Or when was the last time you helped an entire group of people only to have one of them hold you down and make you do whatever she wanted? Or when was the last time you had someone use a friend of yours as a hostage so she could do whatever she wanted to you? Or when was the last time your special somepony used a spell to invade your mind and literally fucking torture you?” We were both pissed and we both needed to vent. I realized I was standing and sank into a seat. I tried to use a softer tone to say, “Fuck Luna. I’m not going abstinent because she can’t control herself. If she needs to get laid, I’m sure she can find any number of suitors.”

She sighed. “Very well, Navarone. I will talk with her about giving you space. I suppose it honestly isn’t fair looking over your shoulder every hour of the day.”

“Celestia, you already told me you would stop that shit. How do I know you aren’t just going to both say you won’t do it and then do it anyway?”

“Trust has to start from somewhere, Nav. You want us to trust you. Should you not trust us as well?” Look who has a worse track record, you stupid bitch.

“But what if it’s something you need to see? It is less aggravating and privacy dampening if there is a situation wherein you’ll need to watch something.”

“Luna and I will deal with that. And I apologize for yelling at you.”

“I know that isn’t sincere. You need to vent just as much as I do. Hell, probably more so. There ain’t no bad blood here.”

“If I took the time to truly vent, we would probably be here until the kingdom fell into ruin. Now, you need a sheath and to get your weapon repaired. And I need to get back to work. As ever, it was a pleasure seeing you.”

“I’m always here if you need me, Celestia. I’ll head to the armory as soon as I get my stuff together.” She nodded and departed. When she left, the room seemed to feel emptier than it should have.

I shrugged and grabbed the knife from where she had dropped it. I slipped the sword back into my pack and was on my way to the armory. When I got there, I passed my axe and my sword off to the blacksmith fellow. I got permission to leave my crossbow and my clothing bag in there and went off to roam around the town. I had been all over the palace before, and the blacksmith told me it would take a few hours for both of the jobs to be done.

So it was in a somewhat apathetic mood that I wandered randomly around the city. I got more than a few unpleasant looks and several blushes as I walked, but not a one of them dared mention the dreams. I kind of wondered how many of them were blushing and were also there at the orgy.

“Nav, be careful!” Flo warned.

I was walking down a side street when I realized that the road was empty except for me and two stallions at one end of the street and a stallion and a griffin at the other. I was in the middle of the street before I noticed that. I looked down both ways and saw that both groups were smiling darkly and edging closer. I tried stretching my wings out to find that I didn’t have enough room to do it. I looked up to find that there were overhanging roofs blocking me if I tried turning to fly.

It took me a moment to realize that I walked into an ambush. As soon as I did, I laughed aloud. “Who are you goons working for?” I asked. “A friend of Blueblood’s?”

“Now, now, that ain’t important,” one of the stallions said. “What’s important is that you made somepony important a bit angry with you. We’re here to teach you a lesson. Now, we can do this the easy way or we can—” He stopped talking when he caught a knife in the eye.

I quickly whipped my shirt off while the other goons were staring in horror. They weren’t used to prey that knew how to fight back, I imagined. The griffin reacted quickest, lunging at me. Thankfully for me, he was still far enough away that I was able to rip a dagger out of the belt across my chest and hit him in the chest with it. He went down, injured but not dead.

“YOU SAID HE DIDN’T HAVE WEAPONS!” one of the stallions yelled to the other.

I pulled out another two throwing knives and tossed them both at the stallion that yelled. He managed to dodge one but the other hit him in the front leg. I turned just in time to duck under a wild swing from the remaining stallion. I pulled out an actual dagger and squared off against him.

“Whattaya say, wanna just walk away?” I asked. “I wouldn’t blame you.”

He backed away a step. I saw his eyes jerking around to his two injured friends and his dead one. “That fool didn’t pay me enough for this!” He bolted. I considered throwing a knife at him anyway, but I figured he could tell the tale of what happened here.

“Tsk tsk tsk…” I said as I walked up to the stallion that I hit in the leg. He managed to stand up and was trying to limp away from me. “The party hasn’t even started and you’re already trying to leave?”

I grabbed his tail and tugged. He fell down and curled up away from me. “I know you aren’t going to tell me who hired you. But you know, I also don’t care. I’m pretty sure your friend that just ran away is going to be delivering a very important message. And since you won’t tell me what I need to know and I already have a messenger, why do you think I should leave you alive?”

“I-I have a family!”

“And so do I. Didn’t think about that before taking this job, did you? Tell you what: I’ll spare you. I’ll even do one better. I’ll get you an audience with Princess Celestia herself.”

His eyes widened in horror before my fist crashed against his face once, twice, and then three times. I stood and shook my head before looking to the griffin.

He was trying to stand to continue fighting, but he wasn’t doing a very good job. I figured he would bleed out shortly. I whistled a happy tune as I went to find the nearest guard.

 

A few minutes later, I was standing in front of an unconscious stallion and a half dead griffin in Celestia’s throne room. She was giving me a look akin to ‘I can’t believe I have to deal with this shit.’

She looked up from the hastily sketched guard report and said, “So you’re saying these two attacked you.”

“There were four. One is dead. I let one go. The one I killed said that they were hired by an important pony to teach me a lesson.”

“Why did you let one go?”

“Because he’ll spread the word that I am not to be fucked with under any circumstances. And that if anyone does fuck with me and I give them the chance to run, I won’t stab them in the back.”

She looked ready to retort when the door banged open and Shining Armor ran in. “I got here as fast as I could. What’s the problem?”

Celestia waved a hoof at us. “Navarone was assaulted by these two and two others. I want the one that hired them found. And I want the one that he let go found. If possible, find the name of the one he killed and any family that he has and send them a note saying that he was killed. You know what to do.”

“Of course, princess.” He nodded a pair of guards that I didn’t see walk in to the bodies. They grabbed them and carried them out.

“You know,” I said, “I did promise that stallion a meeting with the princess. Do me a favor and see him before you have him executed or whatever.”

“I will see him, Nav,” she assured me. “Who struck first?”

“Me. No one ambushes you in an inescapable alley and says they’re going to teach you a lesson only to pull out a book on anatomy.”

“I know, Nav. I just need to do a simple look through your memories to make sure.”

“You know I trust you more than anyone else, Celestia. Feel free.”

She nodded and stepped down from her dais. She walked up to me, stuck her horn down, and did a quick read through my memories. She pulled away with a nod. “You may leave, Shining Armor.”

He saluted and turned. Before he could leave, I said, “Yo Shiny, how’s Cadance and the kid?”

He turned to me with a surprised look. “They are well, Nav. I’m surprised to hear you expressing any interest. Cadance does want to talk with you soon, but now is a bad time.”

“I may be a terrible person, but I’m not a dick. Maybe I’ll see you two around the next time I’m in town. And don’t worry: The stones are well hidden now.” He gave me a grateful smile before marching off. The door closed behind him and it was just me and Celestia in the room. I turned and said, “So what now?”

“I go back to my job. Shining Armor finds the pony that ordered the attack. You go get your sheath and axe and go home.”

“Cool. I don’t suppose I could get a chariot? I don’t think there’s a train running to Ponyville again today.”

She nodded. “That can be done. I’ll send word down to the chariot pool. They’ll ferry you home when you get there. Before you go, though, how do you feel about being attacked like this?”

I shrugged. “It happens. I wasn’t really expecting any kind of physical retaliation for what happened with Blueblood, but such is life. I figured they would have done a bit more research, though. Hey, you wanna place odds on me running into another group of them if I go take a walk through the city?”

She put a hoof up to her face in thought. “Hm… Fifty bits says you don’t.”

“I got money to spare. As easy as those four thugs were to take down, I figure I could bring down a few more. If you want me to go try, I will.”

“Nav, hired thugs do not exist in Canterlot. Those four were personal guards. Well, the three ponies were. The griffon might have been a mercenary. Tracking their employer will be easy. I would not be surprised if he was already running from Canterlot with all as many bits as he could hastily scramble.”

“Cool. Do I get some kind of reward or something?”

“No. You are lucky I’m not throwing you in prison for murder. Say it however you want, you struck first. If I followed the law, you would be in prison. However, I know the truth of the matter and I know the context of the crime.”

“Good to have the pony princess on your side, I guess. I suppose I ought to get out of your hair, then. Gotta get my stuff and I gotta get back to Ponyville. It was nice seeing you yet again, Celestia.”

“Same to you, though I wish it had been under better circumstances.” I left the throne room and went back to the armory. My stuff wasn’t ready yet, but I didn’t really feel like going back into the city anymore. I just waited until it was done, grabbed everything, and left.

The chariot ride was nice and quick. I thanked the guards and went straight to the library. “What did the princess want?” Twilight asked.

“To give me some stuff and to ask some questions. You know, the usual. You know where Pinkie is?”

“I think she’s at the bakery. Why?”

“Got a question for her.” I went upstairs and set my weapons and bag down. I could do laundry and all that later. I took the invites I got and grabbed Taya and left for the bakery.

“So why do I have to go?” Taya asked. I assume she meant to the bakery.

“You don’t. I asked if you wanted to and you said yes. Don’t try and blame me for this.”

She muttered something that sounded suspiciously like, “I never asked for this.” I didn’t call her on it, because she most definitely did ask to stay under my care.

Anyway, we made it to the shop with no issues. I got Taya some sweet stuff and let her go at it while I went upstairs to talk to Pinkie.

I knocked on her door and waited a minute before shrugging and turning. As soon as I turned around, I saw her staring at me with some freaky googly eyes. I jumped back in surprise and she giggled. “What do you need, Nav?” she asked as she let herself into her room.

I followed her just inside and said, “Remember last year during the week before the wedding when I asked if you wanted to go to the next European party thing?”

“Yup! I most definitely remember that.” She seemed a bit down at that.

I pulled my invitations out. “You still interested in going?”

Her head shot toward me. “REALLY?”

“Yeah. These invites I got say I can bring a friend. If you’re interested—” That’s as far as I got before being hugged so hard it knocked all the breath out of me. I slammed against the wall, which as you can imagine didn’t feel all that good against my wings. When I managed to catch my breath, I said, “Can you let me go now?”

Thankfully, she did. She pulled away from me, beaming. “This is so great! The best party in the world! Oooh, and me being there will make it so much better!”

I put a finger against her lips before she could say anything else. “Pinkie, this is a party closer to the Gala, for the most part. There are themes each day, but the crowd is mostly genteel. If you want to go, I need you to promise me that you’ll behave. I need the sane Pinkie, not the normal Pinkie.”

She took a deep breath. And I mean a ridiculously deep breath. Like, I think I felt the air in the room grow thinner. When she finally stopped, she held it in for a few seconds and then just exploded in a flurry of motion, flying across the room.

“We don’t leave until next month!” At that, she froze in the middle of doing… something.

“What?” Her voice was super high pitched.

“The party is in March. We’re leaving then. You have plenty of time to prepare or do… whatever you’re doing.”

She dropped to the floor, taking in deep breaths. I walked over to her, kicked off my shoe, used my foot to roll her over onto her back, and rubbed her tummy with my foot. That helps calm her down. Soon enough, her tongue was lolled out and she was practically melting into the floor.

When I pulled my foot away, she sighed. “You know just how to treat a mare…”

“Yeah, I do. It’s a shame Luna didn’t realize that.” I stomped my foot into my shoe. “I’ll see you around, Pinkie.”

“If you ever need to talk, you know Aunty Pinkie is here for you.”

“I know. So are a lot of others. Oh, and you’ll probably need some manner of dress or something. I’m sure Rarity can help you with that.”

“I’ll take care of it.”

I waved as I slid out her door. I was humming, forming a plot in my head as I got downstairs. Taya was poking at the last cupcake on her plate with a concerned expression. It was probably one of those that was way too sweet.

“You ready?” I asked her.

She looked up. “How is anypony supposed to eat this?”

“Practice. Took me a while to be able to stand them. Even then, I can only have so many.” I grabbed the cupcake. “See you, Mrs. Cake.” She waved as Taya and I left. I gave the cupcake to the first little kid we passed and we made it back to the library with no incident.

“You find Pinkie okay?” Twilight asked.

“Yep. She agreed, too. What do you know about the war games held every year?”

“Agreed to what?”

“To go to the Europe party.”

“You invited her?”

“Well, yeah. I know how much she likes parties and this is one hell of a party. I figured the only other one of you that would be interested would be Rarity.”

She hmphed and turned away. “And you didn’t think to ask me?”

“Why would you want to go? The dragons wouldn’t talk to you. I talked to Pinkie about it before the whole wedding thing last year and she seemed really interested. I haven’t been doing much with her recently, so I figured it would be nice to take her. I mean, if you really want to go, Celestia can probably give you an invite or something.”

Taya’s turn to chime in. “Can I go?”

“I don’t know,” I answered. “Probably not. You really, really wouldn’t enjoy it. It’s a pretty massive social event. I just made a few friends last year that I wouldn’t mind seeing again.” Like Kumani. “This year it’s supposed to be an entire festival, so yeah.”

“Even if the dragons wouldn’t speak to me, I still wouldn’t mind going! It seems all you ever do these days is avoid the library. And you never want to spend time with anypony. Is it so bad that I want to spend time with you?”

“There are plenty of other places to spend time with me,” I answered. “I’m only bringing Pinkie because this is a big fucking party and she likes parties. And besides, someone needs to watch Taya. Do you want to leave her with someone like Rarity?”

“I can take care of myself!”

“I’m a dad and it’s my job to worry,” I said. “So chillax, Twilight. You wouldn’t have much fun there anyway. I know you hate the Gala, and this is that but on a larger scale.”

She sighed and nodded. “But I want to talk!” she said. “And we’re going to go do it right now.”

“...About what?” I asked as her magic grabbed me before I could put the ring on. She started dragging me upstairs.

“Alone, Taya,” she said as my daughter started following us.

“It’s alright,” I told her. “Twilight’s not gonna hurt me.” Taya sighed and stayed down at the bottom. When we got up to Twilight’s room, her door slammed shut. “Now, what are we talking about?” I asked.

“Luna,” she answered. “You broke up with her, then she started making everypony dream like that about you. What happened between you two, Nav?” I opened my mouth, but she pre-empted me and said, “And don’t even think about blowing me off. It’s obvious that you’re moody and you need somepony to talk to.”

Bitch please.

“She’s right, Nav,” Flo said. “Just tell her.”

Ugh. “It’s painful to talk about,” I said. “It involved her attempting to link minds with me and not realizing that doing so created her idealized version of me while putting my mind into it. So I was watching and feeling everything her mental image of me was doing.”

“How did she not realize that she would have complete control with a nonunicorn? That’s heavily documented and every book on love magic suggests highly against it!”

“Don’t know, don’t care. Doesn’t matter, really. She literally tortured me and thought that was perfectly okay. You don’t even know the fucking roller coaster Luna and Celestia put me through. All the love games with me… It’s a wonder I walked away from that even capable of a relationship.” Old Greg would be proud.

“That’s… horrifying! Does Princess Celestia know?”

“Supposedly. She was very supportive in helping me get away from Luna. Not that it matters all too much. Luna’s a psycho, so I’m done with her. I’m still her knight, but fuck being in a relationship with her.”

“It does matter! If Princess Luna is… mentally unstable, she needs help. And she doesn’t need to be in a position of power!”

“Bring it up with Celestia, not me,” I said, holding up my hands placatingly. “I don’t want anything to do with that.”

“But you’re the victim!”

“Punishing her won’t undo what was done to me.”

“It could prevent it from happening to somepony else.”

“Somebody else is not me, Twilight. Call it selfish, call it evil. I’m not going to stick my neck out there for someone else. There are no winners when it comes to the little people caught in the clash of titans. Take it up with Celestia if you want, but leave me out of it.”

She just shook her head. “What happened to you, Nav?”

“Luna did. If she was willing to do what she did to me while she purportedly loved me, what do you think she’d be willing to do to someone that slighted her? I want no part in that at all, for any fucking reason.”

“...You’re afraid.”

“You would be, too.”

She slowly nodded. “Alright, Nav. Is there anything else you wanted to talk about?”

“I didn’t really want to talk about this, you know.”

“Then I suppose I have a letter to write…”

“Have fun with that,” I said, feeling her magic letting me go. I wandered on out, leaving behind the scratching of a quill on paper.

 

A lot can happen in a month. Not involving Luna, of course, but with a bunch of other things. With Flo’s help, I was able to transcribe a fuckton of books, earning more bits than I had any idea what to do with.

I also had Flo’s help reminding me the formulas for a lot of interesting human weapons. Smoke bombs, pepper spray bombs, incredibly powerful stink bombs, and flash bang grenades. Oh, none of them were as powerful as could be made back on earth, but for having very limited materials and having a Twilight glaring over my shoulder the whole time, I think I did a good job.

When the chariot for Pinkie and I finally arrived, I was busy with very important knight duties that totally didn’t involve watching Lyra get railed by some stallion in the middle of the woods. Thankfully, I was able to clear my schedule and get ready to go before the chariot drivers got antsy.

I wasn’t able to get ready in time to stop Pinkie from getting that way, though.

“Come on, Nav! We’ll never make it in time if you don’t hurry up!”

“Pinkie, we are literally going to get to Germany in the blink of an eye. And the party can’t even start without Celestia starting it and she’s going with us.” Or rather, we’re going with her. “So us making it in time is pretty much assured. Take a chill pill.”

She ran to the freezer, pulled out an ice cube, and ate it. She was quickly back in my face. “I don’t feel any better! And you aren’t moving any faster!”

“You helping me would make me move faster than you yelling at me.”

Shit, all I was bringing was my armor, the axe, the sword, my crossbow, some bolts, my knives, some of the human weapons I made, and some clothes. It sounds like a lot more than it is, given that I could carry all of that on my person. I was wearing the armor, the weapons were hanging off my body, and the clothes were in a bag between my wings.

“How can you even walk in that?” Spike asked, looking me up and down.

“Practice and a lot more strength than you’d think I would have,” I answered. I’ll admit, it was heavy. The axe and the armor were lightened with magic, but nothing else was. I was unbalanced and could probably topple easily if I wasn’t careful.

Thankfully, Pinkie promised to be on her best behavior and not go around pushing me or whatnot. She apparently got as much of the franticness out of her system as possible. What she did when I gave her the invitation was her attempting to do that all at once. Pinkie was still Pinkie, but she was less Pinkie—and pink—than usual. She actually seemed a bit darker, and she managed to get her hair flattened somehow.

We finally got to the chariot to find that she had a single bag stowed on it. I assumed it was some manner of dress or something. We waved bye to everyone as the chariot rose into the air. “You know,” I said, “you really do look better with your hair like that. At least, in my opinion.” Her entire coat seemed to grow a little brighter pink at that. I poked her side. “What’s up with that? How did you grow brighter?”

She giggled. “I guess that’s just one of life’s mysteries!”

“Eh, whatever. If Twilight gave up on trying to figure you out, it’s not worth it.”

“Oh, so you’re saying I’m not worth figuring out?” Pinkie countered.

“I don’t remember saying that, no. I mean, if you want to be womanly about it and try to turn everything I say into an insult, you are welcome to. Oh and by the way, we’re probably going to get put into the same room and I’m hoping to get laid a few times this year, so you might need to wait outside for a little while.”

“Nah, I don’t mind watching. Or helping.”

That is so fucking creepy. Flo muttered an agreement. “Pinkie, can you stop watching me do things like that? Or watching me sleep? Or stalking me?”

“Okie dokie lokie!” Well, at least she was nice about it. The rest of the trip was spent listening to her talk about all the things she had planned for the party. From the sound of things, she was set to have a right good time. I just wanted to talk to some of the people I met last year and maybe compete again, if Celestia would let me.

It somewhat disgusts me that I had to have Celestia’s permission to compete, but that just seems to be the vein of things around here. Maybe everyone will be over what I did last year.

At least it didn’t take us long to get to Canterlot. Chariot rides between the two places are usually pretty short. Pinkie and I went straight to the throne room, where we were told to meet with Celestia.

And there she was, standing next to a very irate looking Cadance and a bored looking Shining Armor. Cadance turned to glare at me when we entered. “How dare you break Luna’s heart?”

“That’s a long story that’s none of your business and not really important. If you’re saying that, then you don’t know the full story.”

She took a step forward, lowering her horn a bit. “I know just what’ll make you realize what you lost!”

“Time out!” I called, holding my hands in a T. She looked up, confused. I slipped my clothing bag off and removed most of my weapons and stepped away from the pile. “Alright, time in.”

Her horn lowered and shot a heart shaped thing dead at me. I jumped out of the way, but it tracked me. I managed to get behind Pinkie and it hit her instead. The heart split in half and the other half tried hitting me, but I was already en route to the door. I slammed it shut in front of the heart and continued running.

The door exploded open behind me and Cadance ran out, shooting more love at me. I vaulted over a stationary guard and one of the hearts hit him. I skidded around a corner—not advisable with metal boots—and dove around a female servant. The other heart hit her. I continued running.

“YOU GET BACK HERE!” I didn’t even consider going back there, but I could hear her chasing me. I continued running, narrowly missing guards, servants, and heart-shaped bubbles.

I finally got to one room that had a sign on it that said something about magic portal testing. A pony in a lab coat was trying to yell some kind of warning at me, but he got hit by a magic heart and chose to wrap his mouth around another pony’s lips instead. The door I entered led to a long hall with three doors on either side. I bolted for the first one on the right and closed the door behind me. I found myself in another hall with a door at the end. I kept running and opened the door at the end just as the door behind me opened. I found myself in a hall that looked just like the first one. I saw Cadance’s ass entering one of the doors at the end of the hall.

The door pulled shut behind her and I picked a door at random and entered it, finding myself in another hallway. I ran down it and opened the door just as I saw Cadance entering another one. I picked yet another door at random. While I was in the middle of the main hallway, I saw a door open and a pony with a shaggy red-head and a pot leaf for a cutie mark run out followed by a large dog and a fake looking monster. I just shook my head and ripped another door open and ran down yet another similar looking hall.

When I opened the door at the end of that hallway, I bumped into a very lost looking Derpy. “Oh, hey Nav! I was trying to get to my kitchen to get some milk.”

“Uh. I think you took a few wrong turns. How did you get here?”

She shrugged. “I am not a clever pony.”

Just then, Cadance and a pony that looked a lot like a less colorful Rainbow Dash burst out of a door. They slammed it shut behind them. Cadance saw me and grinned like a shark. Her horn lit up and a heart came out. I ducked behind Derpy and slammed the door when the first heart hit her.

I ran back down the hall and opened the door to find a hallway with Derpy and that Rainbow Dash-looking-mare making out. Wait… is that Daring Do?

My musings were cut short as I heard a door opening behind me. I rushed into the hall and slammed the door closed.

Flo said, “Nav, get out of this hall. It’ll just end in ruin.”

“Good idea.” I ran to the end of the hall where I entered and got out just as the door behind me opened. I slammed the door and ran down the hall, jumping over the pony couple of the scientist and a random servant. The door banged open behind me just as I turned a corner. I saw a heart flying at me from the edge of my vision. I sprinted down the corridor, seeing a group of foals surrounding a somewhat bored looking Luna. I recognized some kids from Ponyville.

I grabbed the first one I saw and held him up in front of the heart. It hit him and the half heart went searching for targets. “Nav, what are you—” Luna managed before the heart hit her. I set a figure that I now recognized as Pip down and continued running.

“HAVE FUN WITH THAT!” I shouted as I turned yet another sharp corner. I heard Cadance still behind me.

“YOU’RE GOING TO GET IT, NAVARONE!” Cadance screamed as she crossed the corner, catching up with me. I managed to get a few servants between me and her and I heard her spell hit some of them.

I got to what I recognized as the barracks with Cadance hot on my trail. A bunch of night guards were asleep and several day guards were sitting around, playing cards or whatnot.

“Tally ho, gents!” I called as I ran past the confused looking day guards. Some of them caught hearts and the chaos in that room began. I slipped through some of the beds and leapt over others to get some night guards to catch the love for me. They woke up right quick, then.

Right behind the barracks was the training courtyard. I brushed past groups of guards casting spells, sparring, doing exercises, and all kinds of other stuff. Half the sparring groups ended up hit by hearts and several of the unicorns did as well.

I think Cadance was starting to get frustrated. I managed to get across the courtyard unscathed and into another hall. I darted to one side and leaned against the wall. She burst into the hall and began running past until I caught her tail, pulled her to me, spun her around, lifted up her front legs, and began to dance a little jig.

“If you wanted to play, all you had to do was ask!” I laughed, spinning her in a pirouette. I dropped her while she was spinning and jumped out a window. The maze was just on the other side of that and I was hoping I could lose her in there.

No such luck. As soon as I got to the entrance, an enraged Cadance teleported in front of me. Her horn lit up incredibly bright and a massive heart shot at me and hit me dead on. She put on a wicked smile. “Tell me Nav, are you feeling the LOVE?”

I put on an innocent smile and pulled my gauntlet off, revealing my magic nullifying ring. “Why no, Cadance. I’m not. Why do you ask?”

Her mouth dropped. “B-b-but… But you… With… Why?”

I walked up to her and put my arm around her neck, turning and pointing through the window to the guard training courtyard. We could just barely see several guards on the ground, making out. “Now, wasn’t that fun? And just look at all the love you spread! All those servants, scientists, princesses, kids, and guards… My my, you’re going to be so popular!” I patted her neck warmly. “Now, I’m afraid I have a party to get to. We can play some more later.”

I let her go and began to walk away, but she jumped in front of me. “Oh no, you’re not going anywhere until you help me clean this mess up!”

I shrugged. “Fine, fine. Sooner started sooner finished.”

We began with the guards. Quite a few of them were very, very surprised to find what they were doing. Some of them weren’t so surprised. Some of them were quite happy about it. Of course, those that were happy about it were often paired with those that weren’t.

We then traced our steps all through the castle, releasing everyone we found. Luna and Pip were very, very amusing. When we pulled Pip away from Luna, he mentioned something about wanting to try getting gobbled again. Luna was blushing up a storm and sharing a glare between me and Cadance. I just merrily waved and we continued on our way. We freed Derpy and the chick that I thought was Daring Do. Before I could ask her, she jumped through a random door and we didn’t see her again. After giving Derpy directions, she awkwardly flew off.

When we finally got back to the throne room, we had freed over a hundred ponies from the tyrannical grasp of love. And when I opened the door to the throne room, I felt a massive blush cover my face.

Shining Armor looked much the same way. He was alternating between looking away and looking toward the spectacle. When he saw us walk in, he sagged in relief. “I promise, I don’t know where they got the whipped cream or the cherries! And I wasn’t watching, I swear!”

I tilted my head, watching them. “You don’t have to watch. You could just… listen.” I tilted my head the other way. “Hey Cadance, can we wait a few minutes? Is that… is that chocolate?”

There was silence from her end. I somehow managed to pull my gaze away and look at her. She was looking at the pair going at it on the dais in horror. I just shrugged and looked back.

When Cadance finally came to her senses, she cast the nullifying spell.

Pinkie pulled away from where she had been working and looked around. When she saw where she was—and the position she was in—she blinked. And then she looked up. “Oh, hey Princess!”

I don’t think anyone had ever heard Princess Celestia scream in horror before that day. It was hilarious and we were all quickly forbidden from ever speaking of what we saw. Luna was quickly summoned and Cadance and Luna were put in charge of fixing any problems that arose from what Cadance had done.

 

 

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